The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Robert Dugoni—pub date April 24, 2018

Ocular albinism defined Sam Hill’s life, earning him the nickname “Devil Boy” in his private catholic school and his mother’s consistent reassurance that it was “God’s will.” He believed God sent his best friends Ernie, the only black child in the school, and Mickey, a girl who chose to not fit into the school. A tragedy lifts him out of his pragmatic life as an ophthalmologist wearing brown contacts into one of atonement in a developing country. He removes the contacts in an epiphany of self-acceptance.

This story lays out the life of a boy who cannot embrace his difference, despite the support of family and friends. It’s clear to the reader that he has better options than the ones he chooses, but often that’s true of anyone. Challenges complicate life, and not everyone rises to the challenge, and that’s okay. Self-acceptance is a struggle for most, and especially for those with a unique appearance and a quiet demeanor. I’m fortunate to have received an ARC through NetGalley of this wonderful story.